In which our new guest contributor, esteemed film director Werner Herzog, goes to the dentist.
I have always been a solitary man by nature, but one who is plagued by the persistent anxiety that I am living in the middle of a Prince song, not his more recent stuff, but something from the Eighties or early Nineties. To ease my soul from this unwarranted burden I seek solace in company and it was so that I found myself in London in a cupcake café with a woman I will call for the purposes of this record Elga, though her name was actually Sharon. Elga had ordered a cake, with icing on top. I had ordered nothing. I was famished but was also in the midst of a three week experiment to eat my own hunger. It was a terrible thing.
I told Elga that the cake was a terrible thing. “But it looks delicious Werner,” she said.
No, I told her. It is a terrible thing. It might taste sweet, and it might nourish some part of you, but in the end it will poison you. You must not eat the cake, Elga. It is your childhood, the father you never knew …
“But I knew my father,” she made bold to assert.
Not this one you didn’t. He’s your secret father, I admonish her. You must not eat the cake overwise you will be eating you secret father. And before she could object I ate the cake. It was scrummy.
A week later I realised I had made a terrible mistake. The cake had created a cavity at the core of my being and also in one of my molars. I cried out that the Universe was ruled by a pitiless God called Indifference and went to the dentist.
“What seems to be the problem?” he asked, but after forty minutes, his patience obviously exhausted by my complaints of ennui and quotations from Prince’s back catalogue, and ever the dentist, he asked me about my teeth. He had fingers the size and smell of cigars and his probing caused exquisite discomfort.
It would have to come out, he decided with what seemed like a minimum of reflection as to the subsequent integrity of my being. I told him that if he did not succeed in removing the tooth without causing me pain, then his whole life, his childhood, his family, his education, all the experiences he had hitherto enjoyed would all have been a complete waste of time and he would be declared, at the very core of his being, a failure. I am not sure if it was due to the pressure he subsequently felt, or if it was because I cried out “Turn your fat ass round so I can work on that zipper baby!” or if it was because of some unholy twist in the irredeemable rottenness of the universe, but he neglected to administer any anaesthetic before the extraction.
I cried like a child and howled like a wolf. A falsetto Austrian wolf who sounded a little like Prince.